Monday #52: Two

It’s another fifty-second Monday, my friends! Today marks two years of the Monday Blog and, what can I say? It’s been a year full of learning, wonder, growth and change for me. The first order of business is to give each and every one of you, my readers, a big, bursting, beautiful thank you for joining me on this journey. It’s not always easy to keep the commitment to post every Monday but if there’s ever a moment that I think I’m going to stop, the Universe sends one of you to tell me, in person, by email or on Facebook, that I should keep on keeping on here. I’m grateful and humbled by every kind comment and it is truly a gift to be a part of your lives.

So, this morning I looked at the posts from this past year to see which got the most hits–I like to do this– and, interestingly, my top post by far was a post I made on September 12 about Flickr, called “Flickr 101.” It was a tutorial, how-to type of post and, in it, I gave simple instructions for setting up your own account and gushed about what a great social networking site Flickr can be, particularly for creative people. This post continues to top my stats every day and this tells me that people in the world have the desire to share the wonderful, amazing, weird and surprising things that they see and make with others and I think this is really good. I’ve written many times about how, if we accept the notion that creativity is taking known things and combining them in novel ways, our efforts to share ideas with others will only move us all in a more creative direction–not just in the arts but in all fields. It’s nice to share. Flickr away, everyone.

The second most-read post was the one from April 9, entitled “Raise Your Hand.” On this Monday, I discussed the alternative to the traditional don’t-speak-until-you’re-called-on practices of the classroom and how structured and practiced “calling out” can yield more bountiful brainstorming and writing sessions and bring the quieter, less contributory kids into the collaborative fray. Any time my alternative ideas for learning and education get attention is positive in my opinion and I’m encouraged to think that more and more teachers are thinking about different ways to deliver curriculum to their students. The new school year is just around the corner and if there is any seed I could plant in the minds of all my educator friends it would be one that combined the idea of collaboration and sharing with an effort to be open-minded about how we will all move forward through the Common Core standards. We all hold the Wisdom Of Practice within us and, when we acknowledge this, the job at hand is a doable one.

On November 21, I posted my third most-read column of the past year, “Curiosity Wins The Day.” This post was a review of Todd Kashdan’s book, Curious?, a terrific exploration of what curiosity is and how having it, or not, affects our entire perception and experience of Life. Kashdan distinguishes superficial curiosity (What’s in the box?) from the more intrinsic, visceral curiosity that can truly define a person.

Curiosity is hard-wired in the brain, and its specific function is to urge us to explore, discover, and grow. It is the engine of our evolving self. Without curiosity, we are unable to sustain our attention, we avoid risks, we abort challenging tasks, we compromise our intellectual development, we fail to achieve competencies and strengths, we limit our ability to form relationships with other people, and essentially, stagnate.

I’m so, so glad this post is in the top three. Because, really, if I had to summarize what this Monday Blog project really is for me, it would be just that. Curiosity. I’m so curious about this world of ours, about the thoughts in the heads of the thinkers and the feelings in the hearts of the feelers, so intrigued by the many things made by the makers and so inspired by the millions of things done by the doers. It’s overwhelming, really, this world we live in. Awesome and overwhelming. I wish I could see, know and feel more of it but being human is tricky business and I think we must work hard to find ways to connect with, understand and experience this journey. Curiosity is an eager, driving force that pushes us toward the new, coaxes us into the unfamiliar and rewards us with wonder, realization and the promise of a growing mind and spirit.

So, onto another 52 Mondays. I’m thinking about change these days. I’m thinking about how we find peace in a hectic world with hectic states of mind. I’m thinking about things that seem impossible but really aren’t. And, I’m thinking about how we can be more connected to each other and to the planet. I hope that you will join me for another year, my friends.

TRY THIS WEEK: Revisit your curious self.

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About Dar Hosta James

I am an artist living in New Jersey. I write and illustrate children's books, paint, draw, blog, coach, teach and speak about creativity.
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One Response to Monday #52: Two

  1. Kathrin Werner says:

    Thank you for showing us how to make a cranky bird – they are really great. And I´d love to win a copy!

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